Summary: The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Grassland Systems Field Station is looking to hire 6 Resource Science Technicians to assist in the collection of field data related to evaluating patch burn grazing on 5 native tallgrass prairie study areas in west-central Missouri. Patch burn grazing with cattle is used as a management technique in Missouri to create spatial patchiness or heterogeneity in vegetation structure and related characteristics that are important to a wide variety of prairie species (grassland birds, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, prairie mole crickets, etc.). Technicians will work with the grassland ecologist in the collection of spatially explicit estimates of vegetation structure and related characteristics, as well as species responses to this management (cattle behavior, amphibian and reptile trap monitoring, and sampling of planthopper and grasshopper communities).
Duties: Primary field work will involve intensive field sampling of vegetation structure using a range of methods for measuring vegetation structure (i.e., digital imagery, vertical cover board, Daubenmire frame), as well as deploying temperature and relative humidity data loggers on areas during sampling. In addition, field work will include monitoring amphibian and reptile trapping arrays, monitoring cattle behavior of GPS-collared cattle, and sampling of planthopper and grasshopper communities with a variety of methods. Technicians will work both independently and as a crew depending upon daily assignment, will use GPS and GIS technology to map sites, and will assist with data entry and database management. The two positions starting in March will assist the grassland ecologist in gearing up for the field season and setting up amphibian and reptile trapping arrays, in addition to assisting in surveying for prairie-chicken leks and prairie mole crickets.
Housing: MDC-sponsored housing close to the Clinton will be available for a minimal cost. More details will be provided at request.
Dates: 11 March – 31 August 2019 (start and end dates are flexible; 2 positions available)
20 May – 31 August 2019 (start and end dates are flexible; 4 positions available)
Seeking applicants with some or all of the following experiences and qualifications:
• a degree or working on a degree in biology, natural resources, fisheries and wildlife, or related major that would include at least some course work in natural and applied sciences,
• able to walk over 3 miles per day under varying habitat and weather conditions typical of western Missouri in summer,
• capable of working cooperatively with others, as well as working independently with little daily supervision,
• experience with some word processing (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint) and database software (Excel or Access)
• hard-working, enthusiastic, and in good physical condition,
• can communicate well with other co-workers, crews, local wildlife biologists, and land owners,
• experience and/or knowledge of GIS (i.e., ARCMAP) and GPS technologies,
• can collect accurate field data with legible writing and attention to detail,
• experience and/ or knowledge of prairie/grassland systems,
• good driving record,
• can maintain and operate field equipment in a safe and responsible manner,
• experience using UTVs and ATVs, and driving 4x4 truck while towing UTV/ATV trailer (helpful but not required; training will be provided)
• experience with vegetation sampling and field research (helpful but not required),
• experience working with cattle, herptile handling and identification, avian identification by sight and sound, insect collection and identification (helpful but not required)
Application: Please send cover letter, resume, at least 3 references, and the earliest date you will be able to begin work in Missouri to Tom Thompson (Tom.Thompson@mdc.mo.gov). Please put “Resource Science Technician – PBG evaluation” in the subject line of your email. The successful candidates must submit to a drug screening following the offer of employment. The Department of Conservation will hire only United States citizens and aliens authorized to work in the United States. All new employees will be required to complete an “Employment Eligibility Verification” (Form I-9) and produce requested documentation after employment.
Applications received after the deadline of 22 February 2019 may be considered if suitable candidates have not been identified. Please call or e-mail the contact person before sending an application after the deadline to determine if positions have been filled.
For more detailed information about the position, contact:
Tom Thompson, Ph.D.
Missouri Department of Conservation
Phone: 660-885-8179 x 4940